Featured News

Resistance and Soybean Cyst Nematode

By Mark Apelt, Regional Product Specialist, Becks Hybrids

Soybean Cyst Nematodes (SCN) were first identified in the United States in North Carolina in 1954. Within a 70 year time frame, they have become the greatest yield-reducing pest and disease of soybeans in the US, despite only being able to move a few inches per year in the soil on their own. University experts from 29 soybean producing states have estimated SCN causes more than twice the amount of damage as the next yield-reducing pest (seedling diseases). It is now estimated that SCN costs US Soybean producers close to $1.5 billion per year.

Soybean Cyst Nematode can build up their populations rather quickly. The average female cyst contains approximately 200 eggs (about half become male, and half are female). It takes approximately 24 days (depending on temperature) to go from egg to adult, and each year there can be three to six generations.… Continue reading

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Time to stock up on the right nozzles for the operation

By Erdal Ozkan

This is the time of the year you must complete shopping for nozzles because the spraying season is just around the corner. Although nozzles are some of the least expensive components of a sprayer, they hold a high value in their ability to influence sprayer performance. Nozzles meter the amount of liquid sprayed per unit area, controlling application rate, as well as variability of spray over the width of the sprayer boom. Nozzles also influence droplet size, affecting both target coverage and spray drift risk. Nozzles come in a wide variety of types and sizes. The best nozzle for a given application will maximize efficacy, minimize spray drift, and allow compliance with label requirements such as application rate (gallons per acre) and spray droplet size. Selecting the best nozzle requires careful consideration of many important factors including: sprayer operation parameters (such as application rate, spray pressure, travel speed); type of chemical sprayed (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides); mode of action of chemicals (systemic, contact); application type (broadcast, band, directed, air assisted); target crop (field crops, vegetables, vineyard, shrubs and trees, etc.);… Continue reading

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Fruit and veggies from a different perspective

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

This winter I joined a writers’ group — a huge step out of my dietitian-farmer comfort zone. Each week the group is given two prompts for a 10-minute write about, NO google, NO preparation and NO THESARAUS!!! Yikes! A FREAK OUT began when I found the protocol involved sharing. Out. Loud. My blood pressure began to rise as David Bowie crooned in my ear “Pressure pushing down on me.” 

As the cell timer began to chime, I had changed directions more than Siri in three consecutive traffic circles in a construction zone. 

“Under pressure” was full chorus while my blood pressure was about to jet my head into the heavens. Not good, as this was a group of Midwesterners, New Yorkers, New Jersians, and Californians young at heart. How could I share when I couldn’t even follow my train of thought. At the first prompt I shook my head with absolute certainty that this was not happening. … Continue reading

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Comparing the cost of lime sources

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Depending on your location, you may have a few options for ag liming materials. There are several questions to consider in a lime purchase. What is the calcium or magnesium content? How easily does the product spread with available equipment? Can we address other soil and management goals with the lime source available? Another critical question is, what is the most cost-effective source? 

Fortunately, the Ohio Department of Agriculture regulates products sold as agricultural lime in Ohio. A key part of the regulation is providing an analysis number that allows us to compare lime sources and make accurate applications.

The number that every lime product sold in Ohio must show on the labeling is the Effective Neutralizing Power or ENP. The ENP is a calculated value based on total neutralizing power (TNP), fineness of grind, and percent moisture. 

ENP provides a convenient way to compare lime sources on a cost-per-acre basis.… Continue reading

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OSU and ODA team up to give out free garden seeds for Ohio Victory Gardens

Ohio’s movement to promote urban and rural gardening is back and bigger than ever. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Ohio State University Extension are partnering once again to encourage Ohioans to cultivate their own produce.

At the Franklin County OSU Extension facility April 9, Ohio Victory Gardens officially kicked off with a special appearance from Brutus Buckeye, who helped plant a few seeds to start the season.

The popular Ohio Victory Gardens program is back for its fourth year and due to high demand, the program is expanding to include 50 counties. OSU Extension offices will be handing out the free seed sample kits to the public to get people planting. Specific days and times for each office are available on the Ohio Victory Gardens website, as well as planting resources and information.

“The Ohio Victory Gardens program is helping to revitalize the art of growing your own fresh food and helping to reconnect people back to agriculture,” said Brian Baldridge, Director of ODA.… Continue reading

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How does soil test P relate to water quality?

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient in crop production. P in the water is also essential for aquatic plant growth, but too much P in water can result in excess aquatic plant growth leading to the eutrophication of streams and lakes. Eutrophication is the depletion of dissolved oxygen in water bodies. In Lake Erie, excessive plant growth produces harmful algae blooms and associated toxins. Both eutrophication and harmful algae blooms are important reasons Ohio is working toward lower P in water regardless of P source. From an agricultural perspective, we continue to reduce our P nutrient use but also need to be aware of P in the soil and how it impacts water quality.

Soil testing is the standard way to evaluate our need to apply fertilizer and is widely adopted. For example, a 2021 survey by the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative of Lower Maumee found that 83% of fields had been soil tested in the past three years. … Continue reading

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Increasing predator insects

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Insects damage over 30% of all crops worldwide amounting to at least $220 billion lost annually. Insect damaged plants allows many plant diseases a way to enter wounds, further complicating crop damage.  Insects can sense when a plant is unhealthy. These plants become a preferred food source, since they feast on plants high in nitrates due to incomplete photosynthesis.  Healthy plants produce full proteins which the insects cannot digest, so they avoid healthy plants. Good plant nutrition decreases insect and disease crop damage.

Another way to reduce crop damage is through predators that consume both insects and disease organisms. Most predators need food, shelter, and habitat to help these beneficial predators thrive.  Small fields surrounded by natural vegetation offer refuge and extra food. Diverse crops and multispecies cover crops with small open flowers promote predators. Soils high in crop residue (mulch) and biological activity offer winter refuge and food for predators.… Continue reading

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Cooper Farms celebrates history, emphasizes animal care

By Matt Reese

In 1938, Cooper Farms started with 300 turkeys in Oakwood, Ohio when Virgil Cooper took over the farm after his mother’s passing. By 1948, a hatchery had been built where the Cooper Farms Corporate Office now resides. Over 85 years, Cooper Farms has evolved into a diversified, vertically integrated turkey, hog and egg company that has stood the test of time in an ever-changing industry. 

Cooper Farms prides itself on forming lasting customer relationships and producing high quality meat and egg products for private label retail and foodservice companies.  

“Our company was founded on a handshake mentality, with a focus on doing the right thing all the time,” said Jim Cooper, CEO. “It’s humbling to see the growth of Cooper Farms and all that we’ve accomplished, with the help of great partners, leaders and team members. I am pleased to see these next generations, both Cooper family and team members, stepping up to leadership roles and seeing us through these next phases of growth.” … Continue reading

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Can I start grazing?

By Victor Shelton, retired NRCS agronomist/grazing specialist

I have already heard the question, “When can we start grazing?” That question came up a bit earlier this year than normal because we had enough warm days in between the cold ones to provide the energy to really see some early green up.

I’ve seen a lot of livestock already out grazing fields. That is OK if they are still grazing stockpiled forages left from last year’s growth, but if they are consuming only new growth and chasing after each new green blade of grass like a chicken after a bug, then you’re usually doing more harm than good.

Fields that were grazed hard last fall, especially prior to dormancy, and fields that were grazed early this year because the cows needed someplace to go, could absolutely use a longer deferment prior to grazing again this spring. Those fields will need to first try to grow or regrow their new solar panel off the reserves that are left, and then spend valuable time rebuilding roots and root reserves before allocating energy and resources on growing forage.… Continue reading

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Meeting the fertilizer need with Mosaic

Ross Bender is director of new product development at The Mosaic Company. Mosaic is a leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients, two essential components for global agriculture. He provides insights into the current state of the company’s offerings and steps they’re taking to meet the increasing demand for sustainable crop nutrients.… Continue reading

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Egg farms fighting hunger heading into Easter

By Matt Reese

As I child I did not necessarily look forward to getting up early for sunrise Easter service at our small United Methodist church in northwest Ohio, but I did always look forward to several aspects of the event. These things included beautiful Easter hymns (often played by my mother on the piano), the most important message of the year and the delicious potluck breakfast/brunch between the sunrise service and regular service on Easter Sunday. Those Methodist ladies knew how to cook! I’d go through the line once to get a little bit of everything and then make a second pass to re-sample my favorites. 

Food plays an important role in our culture and is often a staple of many of the events we look forward to with family and friends each year. Many families around Ohio, though, do not enjoy such luxury because they face food insecurity issues.… Continue reading

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MAP and FMD a priority for the farm bill

By Dusty Sonnenberg and Matt Reese

The upcoming farm bill was also a top priority of those gathered at Commodity Classic. Of course, a viable and effective safety net including support for crop insurance, is a priority for corn, soybean and wheat growers. Trade support within the farm bill was another area of emphasis at Commodity Classic, said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of Ohio Corn & Wheat.

“In the farm bill, the only thing that really has to do with trade is a pot of money called the Foreign Market Development Fund (FMD) and the Market Access Program (MAP). This is a priority because it would help expand trade worldwide for not just corn, but for everything, including meat and dairy. The issue is that this the pot of money is not sufficient. It has dwindled because of many things, with inflation being one of the major drivers. There are just fewer dollars available to do actual trade facilitation programs.… Continue reading

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Eminent domain reform started then stalled

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

An eminent domain revisions bill appears to be on hold after its removal from the committee agenda that would have provided the bill a third hearing. House Bill 64 was introduced by sponsors Rep. Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville) and Rep. Rodney Creech (R-W. Alexandria) on February 21. The bill had two hearings before the House Civil Justice Committee on March 7 and 14, but was removed from the committee’s March 21 meeting agenda. 

House Bill 64 proposes quite a few major changes to Ohio eminent domain law:

  • Voids an appropriation of property if the agency does not follow statutory procedures for the appropriation, such as procedures for appraisal of value, good faith offers of compensation, and negotiation with the landowner. Under the proposal, a landowner could bring a claim against the agency for violating any of these procedures and the appropriation would be invalid.
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Farmers seeking reform to milk pricing

The American Farm Bureau Federation told USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack that requests to increase make allowances — which are used in part to calculate how much a processor pays for milk — fall short of fairly supporting dairy farmers.

According to 2021 USDA milk cost of production estimates, dairy farmers on average, lose $6.72 per hundredweight of milk produced. The loss for dairy farms with less than 50 cows was even greater at $21.58 per hundredweight.

Two dairy processor associations requested a federal milk marketing order hearing to increase make allowances. While AFBF is not opposed to updating make allowances, the proposals to USDA do not address the wider need for changes to milk pricing regulations. For example, the requests call for the continued use of voluntary data to set make allowances. In a letter to Secretary Vilsack, AFBF President Zippy Duvall argued for mandatory reporting. The letter states, “Large efficient processors may decline to participate [if data is voluntarily collected], which would skew the cost survey results upward.… Continue reading

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Infrastructure impacts on soybeans

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

Infrastructure and connectivity are important aspects in today’s high tech production agriculture world. They are also things that the United Soybean Board has listed as a major issue and priority areas according to Meagan Kaiser. Kaiser serves as Chairwoman of the United Soybean Board (USB).

“It is important to make better data driven decisions. With the high inputs and prices, it is important when considering sustainability to continue to be the most efficient producers possible. This includes overlaying soil test data, harvest data, variety maps, in season applications, and evaluating from those what received the best returns,” Kaiser said. “Data driven decisions on the farm lead to better sustainability.”

In rural America, infrastructure extends far beyond roads and rails and rivers, to also includes digital technology and connectivity.

“As farmers we are now talking about repeaters on our grain bins, and how we are meshing between cellular and WiFi and where other repeaters may be needed for coverage because of how spread out the farming operations are.… Continue reading

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Xylazine classified as a Schedule III controlled substance

In March, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order directing the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy to immediately classify xylazine as a Schedule III controlled substance. The move makes Ohio one of the first states in the nation to schedule xylazine as a controlled substance drug.

Xylazine is a widely used sedative in veterinary medicine, particularly with cattle. It has been increasingly discovered in combination with illicit drug use in Ohio. Prior to the governor’s executive order, Ohio Farm Bureau, along with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and Ohio Dairy Producers Association worked with the DeWine administration on the situation. In addition, Farm Bureau has also been working with the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and American Veterinary Medical Association to help the Food and Drug Administration and Congress find pathways to reduce the illicit use of xylazine while also ensuring accessibility in veterinary medicine.

With the new order, veterinary practices must obtain an Ohio Board of Pharmacy Category 3 Terminal Distributor of Dangerous Drugs license by June 30, 2023. … Continue reading

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Warmer weather ahead

By Jim Noel, NOAA

April is forecast to be warmer than normal with some typical swings. Those swings will still bring periods of windy weather for the first half of April. Normal high temperatures are now 55 northeast Ohio to 60 southwest Ohio. Expect above normal temperatures this week with the first half of the week in the 60s and 70s for highs followed by a cool down later in the week with highs in 50s to near 60. 

There will be another sharp cool down the first half of next week but then there is expected to be a big surge of warmer weather starting about next Thursday for a solid week which could push high temperatures into the 60s and 70s north to 70s to near 80 south. This should allow some field work to begin in full swing for mid-month. By the end of the month temperatures will settle back to about normal.… Continue reading

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Planting intentions surveys compared to final report trends

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

The USDA released their stocks report Friday and confirmed what was already suspected, there is less corn in storage now compared to last year. This should mean downside in old crop corn prices is limited and US corn exports will be watched closely over the next three months.

Planting intentions surveys vs. final report trends

The USDA also released the producers planting intentions survey. It is important to keep in mind that this survey was conducted four weeks ago when prices were much higher for both corn and beans. Plus, the unpredictability of weather during planting can have a big impact in the number of acres actually planted.

Over the last 10 years, corn and bean acres were reduced in six years and increased in four years between the March planting intentions survey and the final planting report. In the years acres were reduced, two million fewer corn and bean acres each were planted on average. In… Continue reading

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OSU Extension seeks next Assistant Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources

Ohio State University Extension is seeking applicants for our next Assistant Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources. The Assistant Director is responsible for the leadership of Ohio State University Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resources program area. This includes overall direction of educational programming within and across Ohio’s 88 counties. The summary of duties is listed below and a complete listing of the position description can be found at https://osu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/OSUCareers/job/Columbus-Campus/Assistant-Director–Extension-Agriculture-and-Natural-Resources–Associate-or-Full-Professor_R74003.

The Assistant Director reports to the Director of OSU Extension and serves as a member of OSU Extension’s Administrative Cabinet. Specifically, the Assistant Director provides leadership and direction for Agriculture and Natural Resources programming with emphasis on program and curriculum development; applied research; identifying potential collaboration and partnerships with universities, colleges, departments, peer agencies and industry partners; securing funding to support related activities; administrative leadership for the state Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources  office; and professional development of faculty and staff.

Education Required:  an earned Master’s Degree required, Ph.D.… Continue reading

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